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May 4, 2007 03:15 AM

Farmers markets opening soon

The local farmers' markets will open in a week or two. A former Evanstonian, I've been a devoted fan of the Evanston Farmers' Market as long as I can remember, even driving upnearly every Saturday from the city where I have been living for almost 6 years.

My first stops there are organic purveyors Henry's Farm and Kinnikinnick Farms, followed closely by Nichols (who seems to be at EVERY farmers' market I've ever been to) and has an interesting variety of produce, but isn't certified organic. I also love the beautiful flower bouquets that Karen arranges individually for customers who stand in long lines to get them.

Last year I discovered the Green City Market in Lincoln Park and the wide variety of meats, eggs, and honey as well as produce. I would love to know other people's favorite vendors at Green City or other city markets.

What are your must-stops at Green City or other city markets? What's unique and special that you look forward to getting?

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  1. I, too, am all excited for the upcoming farmer's markets. Because of my work location, I never miss the Wednesday market in front of the MCA.

    1. I don't rememebr the name of the vendor, but the grilled cheese at the Green City Market is to die for. I used to drive up to Evanston almost every weekend, but Green City is so much better, and I love that it is on grass and not concrete.

      If you want a really fun experience, drive up to Madison some Saturdat morning for their farmers market; it is unreal.

      1. There is a complete list of farmers markets in the Chicago area in today's Chicago Tribune:

        1. I'd like to continue the invitation to discuss the farmers' markets now that they are underway.

          I agree that Green City Market keeps getting better and I find myself going to Evanston less and less if I have a choice. The selection of meats (no fish yet) seem to grow weekly. Capriole cheeses are there pretty regularly and always excellent. One bakery sells individual mushroom and cheese quiches that always find their way home with me. That this market is open both Wednesday and Saturday makes shopping in the market a more regular option rather than a special treat. The man who used to sell home-made pasta has disappeared and is sorely missed.

          There are still wonderful things in Evanston, but does anyone know what happened to Giles who used to sell the widest selection of cheeses in the city? Has he just moved to another market? For I while he was at the Sunday market near downtown/Lakeshore drive.

          9 Replies
          1. re: Jkarela

            Giles's Great American Cheese Collection is one of the things I miss at the Evanston Farmer's Market. He was also at the Farmer's Market at CHIC for a while, but since that market closed, I don't know what happened to him.

            The only thing that Evanston has that Green City doesn't have is Henry's Farm and Karen's bouquets, but Green City has so many other beautiful organic purveyors that I don't mind so much. And now that I live in the city, it is, as you say, so much more convenient.

            Grazers' Gourmet coffee (Cowboy Coffee?) used to be at a lot of the farmer's markets as well, but I haven't seen them lately. The coffee is so rich and chocolately -- unlike any other coffee I can think of. I know they opened a little storefront on Lincoln Ave and maybe they don't have the personnel to do the markets now.

            1. re: chicgail

              There is a good selection of cheeses at the Saturday market on Armitage near Halstead. He usually has a few dozen varieties each week. I did really like the CHIC market, especially since it was open during the winter!

              1. re: LabRat

                What kind of cheeses does the guy at Halsted ad Armitage carry? What was so good about the Great American Cheese guy was all the artisan cheeses and the specialty made ricotta and goat cheeses.

                1. re: chicgail

                  The selection vaires but he usually has several aged cheddars (up to 7 years) a few different bleu cheeses, soft and hard goat's milk cheeses, a few sheeps milk selections and some flavored cheeses. If you visit the Green City market on a Saturday the market at Halstead and Armitage is only a 5 minute drive or 15 minute walk away.

                  I checked the website for The Great American Cheese Collection ( and it says that he can be found at the Evanston market on Saturdays. One of my labs is right across the street from the market, so next time I work on a Saturday I'll have to look for him.

                  1. re: LabRat

                    Giles hasn't been at the Evanston FM at all this year and, as far as I can remember, last year either.

              2. re: chicgail

                I don't know about this year, but for the last couple of years Grazers has been at the Lincoln Square Farmer's Market on Tuesdays--with coffee, granola, unbelievable granola bars that must weigh a pound each, shortbread, and other goodies.

                1. re: sbethp

                  Grazers was not at Lincoln Square Farmers Market today.

                  1. re: Eldon Kreider

                    Sadly, Grazers Gourmet has closed. I called the number on their website this past Saturday to find out which farmer's markets they would be attending this year and was given the bad news. Apparently, their product was desired by many but it didn't turn enough of a profit. Does anyone have any suggestions on local sources of granola as good as theirs? I'm in need of some cranberry pistachio or apricot almond granola.

                    Does anyone remember the name of the farm at the left side of the Clark entrance to Green City Market last year? I think it had 'girls' in their name. Anyone know if they are around anywhere this year?

                    1. re: yorkc

                      My Goodness Granola ( started out here and just moved to Michigan last year. I hear her stuff is really good. I bet she could customize it for you if she doesn't have exactly what you're looking for.